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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  June 26, 2018 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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throws the lampshade down, both parties go we've gon too far. >> ladies and gen, join me in thanking these two men. that has been our broadcast tonight. thank you for being with us. good night from our nbc news headquarters in new york. the axis powers in world war ii were germany, italy, and japan. there was the allies on one side, the axis on the other. at the time of world war ii, and in the years leading up to it, of course, there were millions of american citizens in this country that were of german origin, lots of german-american citizens here. also tons of italian-american citizens here. italian-americans all over this country. but it's interesting.
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german-americans and italian-americans didn't all get put into internment camps during world war ii, right? they weren't rounded up, the germans and italians in this country. of the axis powers, it was only the japanese-americans that got put in internment camps en masse in world war ii. why was that? why was it just them? in 1982, a legal historian lawyer named peter irons was going through boxes of government documents. he was researching the origins of that world war ii policy in which the u.s. government locked up japanese americans. much to his surprise, peter irons stumbled upon a whole bunch of evidence on where that policy came from. it was evidence that had been lost to history. it had never been made part of the official record, never been made part of the government record, the historical record or the legal record of where that policy came from. fdr made an executive order to lock up japanese americans in
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february, 1942. that executive order cited military necessity as the reason why japanese americans had to be locked up. it cited the military necessity of protecting the homeland, essentially, from japanese americans who would want to sabotage and subvert the war effort here at home. quote, the successful prosecution of the war requires every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage to national defense material, national defense premises and national defense utilities. the basis for that military necessity claim was a report had been prepared on the possibility of japan attacking the west coast of the united states. that asserted that japanese americans living in the united states would assist japan
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against any attack. they would act as sabotage against the u.s. government and the u.s. military. in that same report the general asserted that racial characteristics predisposed them to assist in japanese forces against such attack. it also chose to discern loyal and disloyal members of that racial group. on the basis of those findings, this report from this u.s. general advocated that all japanese americans should be rounded up forcibly and put in remote concentration camps for the duration of the war effort. it was a military necessity. it's interesting that that one general thought that. but it turns out he didn't represent u.s. government consensus conclusions on that point. it turns out, in fact, that the war department at the time kind of thought he was cuckoo for cocoa puffs. the war department issued strong objections to that general's
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report. they made a whole bunch of changes to his report because the war department thought that he was wrong about a lot of his conclusions and his premises. when the war department ordered his report changed, the general then ordered that all the original copies of his report should be withdrawn from circulation and burned. and he then denied that any initial report had ever existed. he denied the fact that there had been these revisions. the government pretended that this original draft didn't exist, that there had never been revisions, that there had never been objections from the war department. they made no formal record of the objections from inside the military. the one that led to his first report being burned and a second one issued in its place. navy intelligence, it turned out, filed a competing report saying that the threat of treason by japanese americans was being vastly overstated. quote, in short, the japanese problem has been magnified out of its true proportion, largely because of the physical characteristics of the people and should be handled on the basis of the individual,
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and not on a racial basis. in 1944, after the policy was already i effect, the war department had documents in which they were bluntly asserting that the supposed military justification for rounding up japanese americans was bunk. this was still during the war. quote, the vast mass of fifth column folklore, insofar as concrete evidence is concerned is almost entirely baseless. that was the war department during 1944. so here's the problem. here's the legal problem. japanese americans who were rounded up and put in these internment camps because of fdr's executive order, they challenged the internment camps in court, including fred korematsu, a japanese american who was picked up off the street in san leandro, california, during the war.
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he was fiercely opposed to internment. he thought it was wrong. he fought it. his case went all the way to the supreme court, and fred korematsu in the sup court lost. they cited real military dangers presented by the government to justify the internment policy. what peter irons later discovered in those dusty boxes of government documents years later is that there was no such clear determination of military dangers that justified locking up all japanese americans. the justice department, in fact, at the time, had all sorts of contrary evidence. they had all these internal reports. they had intelligence documents. they had findings from within the war department that totally disputed this contention they were maintaining publicly that there was a consensus within the military of a need to lock these japanese americans up. when it came time to defend the internment camps in court, the government lied to the court
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when they withheld all of that contrary evidence from the government's own files about the wobbliness of this contention that there was some military necessity that was undergirding the policy. they didn't think there was any such policy. they said there was no consensus, but the government lied and said there was a consensus. that order was signed in 1942. over 100,000 japanese americans were locked up. it wasn't until later that peter irons found those documents in dusty, misfiled, mislabeled boxes in the justice department. when he came across the documents in 1982, he came across the fact that the military necessity for the internment camps was not at all how d in court. he knew when he found those documents that what he found was probably going to change the history of japanese internment in this country.
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it was written last year in "the washington post," quote, the lawyer had stumbled across the papers in a government storeroom. secret admissions from u.s. officials that a supposed matter of national security was not what it appeared. the executive order led to abrupt expulsions, mass detentions. and the persecution of thousands on the basis of their ethnicity. peter irons couldn't do it by himself. he stepped out of a taxi in california in 1982, and walked up to the home of peter korematsu. peter irons knew the man only by reputation. ng kematsu h bn turned down that led to the imprisonment of 100,000 japanese americans. korematsu fought it but lost in the supreme court.
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defeat changed him. for decades, he had been living quietly in a small house, refusing to talk about the case with anyone, even his small children, blaming himself for what the country had done to his people. it took two months and a phone call just to get a meeting with fred korematsu. now he sat across from the man, nervous, hoping that seeing incriminating documents the government had kept secret during his trial would convince him to fight again. korematsu was a quiet man. he sat there and read the papers in silence. after 20 minutes passed, he turned to him and said, would you be my lawyer? in the 1940s when he lost that case, the supreme court upheld internment camps for u.s. citizens on the basis of race. and they based that court ruling
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on the government's contention that there were clear findings of a military necessity that justified that policy. there were no such clear findings. that court ruling was based on a false premise. and the documents proving that were discovered 40 years later, and fred korematsu did decide to go back to court, and this time he won. he got his conviction overturned. the judge in his case told the courtroom that the government's position was, quote, tantamount to a confession of error. it still took a long time, b in 2011, the u.s. justice department officially made a formal concession of error in the internment camp's case. the u.s. government formally acknowledging that the government's defense of the internment camps, the government's defense of that policy creating the camps, that government defense was built on a lie. they had withheld evidence from the court. tonight we have been watching protests unfold around the country in response to the supreme court ruling to uphold
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the trump administration's muslim ban. e rst iteration of president trump's muslim ban, you might remember, didn't survive the first weekend of the new administration. the second iteration of the muslim ban was partially blocked before it even went into effect and then the rest of it expired. since then they've been pushing for a third iteration of the muslim ban, and today that is what was upheld in supreme court. in a 5-4 decision, the conservative majority decided to discount the anti-muslim statements from president trump that he has used consistently to explain the policy and justify the policy. the majority instead decided to believe there were national security concerns of some kind that must be what really undergirds the policy, regardless of what the president has said. it was a 5-4 decision. all the hardcore conservative justices appointed by republican presidents sided with the trump administration, including
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kennedy and neil gorsuch. they held the supreme court open for over a year rather than hold a hearing or a vote on a nominee from president obama. that's how neil gorsuch got that seat, which is totally unprecedented in the history of the court. the gorsuch example, though, is now the new precedent for how the u.s. senate will handle vacancies on the court. that means that if and when democrats back control of the u.s. senate, they, too, will not allow any seat on the court to be filled until a president of their party is in office to make a new supreme court nomination. that's the new precedent now because of senate republicans and what they did to give neil gorsuch his seat. the gorsuch seat. what republicans did to give him that seat, to deprive president obama the opportunity to nominate his own candidate, that is the new reality of how the court will be treated from here on out. with all these quite aged
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justices and democrats hell-bent on takinback both houses of congress because they can, we're on a cusp of a strange new era in constitutional governance in this country. you should know in the short term tomorrow, there is likely to be another blockbuster conservative ruling that is likely to gut union rights in this country. today, alongside the muslim ban ruling, we also got a 5-4 ruling against abortion rights. republican leader mitch mcconnell has bragged that blocking president obama from making a supreme court nomination was the most consequential act of all his decades in public office. i am quite sure that mitch mcconnell is very much right about that. but the response to the muslim ban ruling today hasn't been the typical response to just another typically conservative ruling from this conservative court. and i think the significant reaction that you've seen today to this muslim ban ruling is in part because one of the two dissents in the case, from justices who disagreed with the
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majority ruling, went off today like a bag of firecrackers in a small enclosed space. when justices disagree with a majority ruling, they don't have to spell out their reasons for disagreement. when they do so, it's published alongside the majority opinion as a published dissent. they always end with the justice saying, i respectfully dissent unless the justice in that particular case is really mad, in which case the justice might drop the "respectfully" and say, i dissent. if the justice is really, really, really mad, he might elect to not only drop the "respectfully," they might go beyond even publishing a written version of the dissent. justices who are really fired up sometimes decide to read their dissent from the bench. today sonia sotomayor did both of those things. t, sheust said, i , respectfully
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dissent, and she read her dissent in court. at the apex of her argument, she cited the infamous korematsu case, the flawed case that upheld internment camps because of supposed national security concerns that the government lied tthe court about. the revelation of those lies before today had already led to the overturning of fred korematsu's individual conviction and it led to a formal apology from the justice department for having lied to the court. but before today, the korematsu ruling was still technically on the books. sotomayor cited that in her dissent. that led justice roberts to denounce her for citing that case, saying it was totally irrelevant to the ban ruling today. but then he said from here on out, korematsu is officially overturned as of today. which is great.
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korematsu is widely viewed as a dead letter because it's been so widely repudiated by the court record, but now it is gone, as a supreme court precedent, which is great. just because the internment camps based on race other than the migrants on the border, that one line by chief justice roberts might make that a little harder, so, yay. check this out from sonia sotomayor today. in case you have not already seen what she said today, and she said it out loud, she read it from the bench, you should know this is what she said. quote, the united states of america is a nation built upon the promise of religious liberty. our founders honored that core promise by embedding the principle of religious neutrality in the first amendment. the court's decision today fails to safeguard that fundamental principle. it leaves undisturbed a policy first advertised openly and unequivocally as a total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states because the policy now
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masquerades behind a facade of national security concerns. although the majority briefly recounts a few of the statements and background events that form the basis of plaintiffs' constitutional challenge, that highly a bridged account does not tell the story. the full record paints a far more harrowing picture. from which a reasonable observer could conclude it's from hostility and animus towards the muslim faith. on december 7, 2015, the president issued a formal statement calling for a total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states. on december 8, 2015, trump justified his proposal during a television interview by noting that president franklin d. roosevelt, quote, did the same thing with respect to the internment of japanese americans during world war ii. in january, 2016, during a republican primary debate, trump was asked whether he wanted to
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rethink his position on banning muslims from entering the country. he answered, no. a month later at a rally in south carolina, trump told an apocryphal story about united states general john pershing killing a large group of muslim insurgents in the philippines with bullets dipped in pigs' blood in the early 1900s. in march 2016, he expressed his belief that islam hates us. he said, we're having problems with muslims coming into this country. the justice continues, despite several opportunities to do so, president trump has never disavowed any of his prior statements about islam. instead he has continued to make remarks that a reasonable observer would view as an unrelenting attack on the muslim religion and its followers. taking all the relevant evidence together, a reasonable observer would conclude that the proclamation was driven primarily by anti-muslim animus, rather than by the government's
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asserted national security justifications. ultimately, what began as a policy calling for a complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states, is now based on national security concerns. this new window dressing cannot conceal an unassailable fact, that the proclamation is permeated. the majority accepts that invitation. sotomayor then goes into detail describing, quote, serious questions about the legitimacy of the president's proclaimed national security rationale. she says, quote, tellingly, the government remains wholly unable to articulate any credible national security interest that would go unaddressed by the
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current laws absent the proclamation. none of the features supports the proclamation that it's rooted in legitimate national security interest. the first amendment stand as a bulwark against religious differences and religious plurality and tolerance. that constitutional promise is why, for centuries now, people have come to this country from every corner of the world to share in the blessing of religious freedom. instead of vindicating those principles, today's ruling tosses them aside and gives way to a policy that a reasonable observer would view as motivated by animus. the majority opinion upends this court's judgment, repeats tragic mistakes of the past and denies countless individuals the fundamental right of religious liberty. today's holding is all the more troubling given the stark parallels between the reasoning of this case and that of
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korematsu v. the united states, 1944. as here, the government invoked an ill-defined national security threat to justify an exclusionary policy of sweeping proportion. as here, it was rooted in dangerous stereotypes about a group of people. as here, the government was unwilling to reveal its own intelligence agencies' views of the alleged security concerns to the very citizens it purported to protect. and as here, there was strong evidence that impermissible hostility and animus motivated the government's policy. in the intervening years, our nation has done much to leave its sordid legacy behind. today, the court takes the important step of overruling korematsu. announcing it was gravely wrong the day it was decided.
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this precedent is laudable and long overdue, but it does not make the majority's decision here acceptable or right. by blindly accepting the government's misguided invitation to sanction a discriminatory policy against a group, all in the name of a superficial claim of national security, the court redeploys the same dangerous logic underlying korematsu. and merely replaces one gravely wrong decision with another. our constitution demands and our country deserves a judiciary willing to hold the coordinate branches to account when they defy our most sacred legal commitments. because the court's decision today has failed in that respect, with profound regret, i dissent. not, i respectfully dissent, but i dissent. that supreme court ruling is dead officially as of today. for a long time, it's been dead
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in a practical sense, because it was shown to be based on a literal lie. the government said those internment camps were necessary for a clear national security purpose. they didn't have any clear national security purpose that justified that policy. it was actually based impermissibly on racial animus and the government hid that from the court when the court upheld those camps. they lied to the court. they got away with it for decades, but it was finally exposed. that ruling for the internment camps, the reasoning that justified them, it was finally decades later exposed as a sham. the justices who dissented from the korematsu ruling in 1944 over time have been proven correct. today the korematsu ruling finally went away as precedent. in her ruling, justice sonia sotomayor say the national security claims that purports to underlie the trump muslim ban are also likely spurious the way
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they were in korematsu. in this case there is nothing secret about the animus that underlies that policy. in korematsu, they had to lie to the court about it. it took decades to dig up evidence. in the muslim ban case, there's nothing secret here. there is nothing secret about the animus here. nobody has held that evidence from the conservative majority of the supreme court, they just today chose to ignore it. and this is the supreme court. so there is no appealing this decision. there is no appeal, at least within the court system. there is no secret history of prejudice here for a new peter irons to find evidence of in an old misfiled, dusty box that he can then take to korematsu and beg him to bring it back to the courts. the courts won't fix this. in this case, the evidence of animus is in the newspapers, it's in public statements, it's in speeches, it's in the president's twitter feed.
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and nos y have nowhere to take that evidence except to the voting booth. because this is now something that the courts will not fix. congress could fix it, but that would require changing the congress. who's already won three cars, two motorcycles, a boat, and an r.v. i would not want to pay that insurance bill. [ ding ] -oh, i have progressive, so i just bundled evything with my home insurance. saved me a ton of money. -love you, gary! -you don't have to buzz in. it's not a question, gary. on march 1, 1810 -- [ ding ] -frédéric chopin. -collapsing in 226 -- [ ding ] -the colossus of rhodes. -[ sighs ] louise dustmann -- [ ding ] -brahms' "lullaby," or "wiegenlied." -when will it end? [ ding ] -not today, ron. -happy anniversary dinner, darlin'. ding ] can this much love be cleaned by a little bit of dawn ultra? oh yeah one bottle has the grease cleaning power of three bottles of this other liquid. a drop of dawn and grease is gone.
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the first successful legal challenge to the president came just one day after it had become official u.s. policy. reporters and protesters started flying all over the country to help people in the process that were being detained because of the new ban. the aclu filed this lawsuit against the president arguing his muslim ban was against the law. they filed it basically instantly and they won that round. that first weekend, a federal judge in new york stopped the muslim ban in its tracks right away. people celebrated in the streets outside that federal courthouse that night. the aclu was behind the first successful challenge to the president's muslim ban. it has since gone through a second iteration and now a third and now the supreme court today has upheld the latest version.
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so, what happens next? joining us now is anthony romero, executive director of the aclu. mr. romero, thank you for being here. >> always great to see you. >> it's awkward to read supreme court dissents. >> it was amazing. if you're going to read anything, read that dissent. >> let me ask you, the first iteration of the ban was successfully challenged by the aclu. they've revised it twice since. is this permanently the law of the land? >> no. we're going to fight this tooth and nail for decades. just like we did for korematsu. we brought the case in 1941 and lost it in 1944. it took us decades to get reparation for the japanese-american internees. when you know something is wrong, even when a court upholds it, you keep fighting. so first it's tragic for all the reasons you said. it's tragic not just because it's a bad law, it's tragic
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because tens of millions of muslims will now have a hard time coming to this country to reunite with their families, to visit -- >> to study, vacation, anything. >> millions of muslim americans have now been tainted with the stigma of prejudice coming from the highest levels of our government and sanctioned by the supreme court. that's not something we should just easily skirt over. we have millions of muslim americans who are patriotic americans who have suffered a great indignity at the hands of the supreme court. it's tragic for the stature of the supreme court. it's ironic. they wipe away korematsu. they try to wipe themselves with one sponge. but with another sponge, a dirty sponge, they taint themselves even further. this case will go down in history as their korematsu. the idea of the analysis that justice sotomayor calls them out on, they skirt over the history. justice roberts has a little bit about what the animus was for president trump. he puts just enough in so he
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can't be called out for being n intellectually dishonest. just enough, but not enough to take it seriously. >> especially for someone who is not a lawyer, just a lay observer for these things. those of us who are not lawyers have been looking at the trump decision and its more radical policy proposals. it sort of seemed like the president's public remarks, talking about wanting to ban muslims from this country, the way he's justified other policies, the way he's talked about wanting no due process for immigrants, the way he's talked about lots of different things that have an impact on the way the court considers these policies, it seems like those public remarks by the president would hurt him in court, would mean that these policies were less likely to pass legal muster. now that the supreme court essentially looked at a few of the things the president said about the muslim ban but decided they didn't matter, is that, too, something that is going to change the way policy challenges for the trump administration go forward? >> sure. and i think the fact the president has done himself harm no matter what.
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the fact they had to cite this with justice roberts and all the people who normally want to agree with him, the fact they had to cite his own words against him and say, notwithstanding that which he has said, we're still going to rule in his favor, that's a little bit of faint praise. we have to look at the positive side. the cup is not always empty. it's a little bit full in this one. i think also the fact they point to the fact that in the future, we might be able to go back and amplify the record. justice kennedy's opinion, his freestanding opinion, one and a half pages, tormented. the man says, even though we can look at this opinion and overview the decisions of the president, he goes on to say that he hopes elected officials would abide by the constitution and by the principles in the constitution. it's a one and a half page reprimand, as i read it. >> even as he sides with the majority. >> too little, too late for me. but it still shows you the man is a little bit tortured by signing on to the majority opinion. and the dissent is ringing.
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justice sotomayor lays it out in very explicit detail. that's where we have to look going forward. i think there will be ways to look at whether or not the visa waiver process is working, whether or not refugees are allowed into this country, whether or not immigrants from predominantly muslim countries are allowed in. we are not going to let up on this one. there will be a whole series of follow-on lawsuits, the aclu, the national immigration law center. we do not give up. this is where we also have to make a point. we have to be energized by this. i know it's hard to say and it sounds like i've been in the green room for too long, but the fact is, we fought him. there was dignity in this battle. 17 months, we brought 27 muslim ban lawsuits. we fought him every step of the way. the taint that he put on this muslim ban is clear. 79% of americans know that this is a muslim ban. five justices in a supreme court went through judicial acrobatics
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to find a way to justify the unjustifiable. much more to come tonight. do stay with us. ♪ hello. the new united explorer card hooks me up. getting more for getting away. rewarded! going new places and tasting new flavors. rewarded! traveling lighter. rewarded! (haha) getting settled. rewarded! learn more at and get... rewarded! and get... heartburn and gas? ♪ now fight both fast new tums chewy bites with gas relief all in one relief of heartburn and gas ♪ ♪ tum tum tum tums new tums chewy bites with gas relief
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the millennium biltmore, a big old hotel in downtown l.a. it's quite ornate. tonight they hosted attorney general jeff sessions in the
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emerald ballroom. he gave a speech to a criminal justice group. outside, a whole bunch of people gathered to protest jeff sessions and the border policy that has taken so many kids from their parents. that's pretty much par for the course in states all across the country now. people are protesting this policy everywhere. tens of thousands of people are expected to protest in all 50 states in coordinated protests this weekend, on saturday. but today in l.a., this protest looked a little bit different, as you can see, because it was mostly clergy. they formed a human chain in the middle of the road. they spread out a pile of baby onesies to represent toddlers and babies taken from their parents. they chanted that kids belong at home, not in cages. when they laid down in the street and decided not to budge, police loaded them into vans.
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that's got to be a nice day at wo. how was your day today, dear? i had to handcuff some nuns and priests who didn't want babies taken awayrom their mothers. that's not an awesome day at work. but the police did it. dozens of arrests in l.a. today, outside the jeff sessions speech. today the attorneys general from 17 u.s. states and washington, d.c., filed a new lawsuit against the trump administration for this new policy of taking kids away from their par at the border. the initial filing is 128 pages long, and it's interesting, it makes news in a very specific way. a big chunk of this is super-specific chapter and verse of what exactly has happened to some of these kids who are now scattered all over the country by the trump administration, including some disturbing personal details that had not been reported before. for example, this. quote, a boy who was separated from his father at the mexican border was rushed to the hospital because he was about to jump out of the second story window of the group home in new
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york where he was sent in early june after being forcibly separated from his family. quote, the distraught child verbalized that he wanted to jump because he missed his parents. we did not know about that case before this filing today. the trump administration had a great day at the u.s. supreme court today. they are expecting, honestly, to have another great day at the court tomorrow. are the federal courts still the best hope for trying to stop trump administration policies that are hitting such a nerve and galvanizing so much opposition like this border policy is? why do the states think this is a winnable case and how fast are they hoping to move here? joining us now is the attorney general for the great state of massachusetts, maura healey. she is one of 18 attorneys general who filed this lawsuit this afternoon. the last point i made, this is a good day for the trump
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administration in terms of the muslim ban being upheld. they think they'll have another good day tomorrow in a case that is expected to gut union rights. how optimistic are you, how confident are you that the federal courts are the right place to reverse controversial trump administration policies right now? >> as state a.g.s we've been on the front lines and we've had any number of successes in court. even the travel ban, you know, we stopped that the very first weekend it went into effect. we stopped versions 2.0 and 3.0. so, disappointing result in the supreme court for sure, but i look at our success defending the right of contraceptive care, defending access to health care, we're going to continue to fight on any number of fronts. today, though, we filed a really important lawsuit on what's happening at the borders. what donald trump is doi is immoral, but it's also illegal, and that's what this lawsuit is about. >> 18 a.g.s, 17 states and d.c. how do you approach that strategically? why not bring a case from massachusetts?
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whs it mean when states band together this way? obviously every state has its own constitution, the issues and matters are different in different states. why band together this way? >> we think it's more effective to work together from various states that have common concerns and common claims. we filed in the great state of washington, credit to bob ferguson and his team who have done a lot of work, along with others who have worked on this matter. let me tell you about the heart this. when i flew down here from boston, i just left a woman named angelica. angelica fled guatemala with her 8-year-old daughter, fled violence, came to this country seeking asylum. when she was arrested after crossing the border, she was taken to a detention facility. and the guards there, in front of her child, asked her if they celebrated mother's day in guatemala. she said yes. and they said, happy mother's day. then they told her she may never see her daughter again. and she has not seen her
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daughter april since may 11th. she's been able to, she told me today, have a few phone conversations with her daughter who turned 8 alone in a facility in texas. she had her birthday all alone. not just alone. she's cold, she's scared, she's got a cough, she's got pink eye and she doesn't know when she'll see her mother again. that's what this lawsuit is about. it's illegal in so many ways and i'll just tick off a few of the various claims we've brought. both our state and our federal constitution recognize a fundamental right, a fundamental interest in keeping parents and children together. it's illegal to take a child away from a parent without due process of law. here we see accompanied children turned into unaccompanied children overnight without warning, without a hearing, without any process whatsoever. that is illegal. it's also a violation of federal asylum laws. we actually have laws in this
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country that allow people like angelica tcome into this country and seek asylum. what we've seen the trump administration do is actually turn those asylum seekers away at the border. that's unlawful. as states now, we have situations where we have both parents and children in our states, in massachusetts and in states across this country, who have been separated from one another. and we're left to take care of them, to try to pick up the pieces. it's a terrible situation, and as i say, it's absolutely reprehensible. but we feel confident about our claims. >> one last point i want to just ask you about here. this is part of the reason i wanted to have you and anthony romero back to back and part of the reason i wanted to have you here in person because i wanted to ask you this in person. i think a lot of the americans today with the supreme court ruling, with neil gorsuch in particular casting a vote after what the republicans did holding that seat open for him, i think a lot of people are looking for
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a radical president trump that is personally a radical departure from anything we've maybe in the history of this e, country. and i think a lot of people felt like the courts were the emergency brake. then today this happened, and people have started to lose faith. i talked to a lot of people today who said, i have no energy, i feel depressed, i feel like there is no reason to be optimistic anymore, i don't know what i can count on. you and anthony romero are telling me this is unconstitutional. i see confidence from you and anthony as head of the aclu. is that wishing and hopi >> no. i think we have had a proven track record over the last two years. our efforts at suing the trump administration from doing any number of things. yes, a devastating and disappointing decision today, but i'll tell you what. when angelica cried in my arms this afternoon, my message to her, my words to her were, we're your government, too.
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we're here for you. we've been there as state a.g.s in our courts, we'll continue to fight this out in the courts. i think that americans today in time, this fall, if you've got a dissent and a lot of people are dissenting, take to the streets rightly over this terrible decision. register your dissent in december at the ballot box. that's what we've got to do. in the meantime, we're going to pursue the government for holding these kids hostage. that's what's going on with asylum. they're literally telling parents, drop your asylum claims, claims you're entitled to bring with the constitution of the united states, or else you won't get your kid back. it's illegal, it's unconstitutional, it's unamerican, and we'll continue to see the trump administration in court. >> maura healey, attorney general of massachusetts. thanks for being here. what looks like a major upset, one of the highest-ranking democrats in washington, a surprising result.
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we have steve kornacki on-deck, next. stay with us.
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on top of everything else, it is election night in seven states around the country tonight. that has produced some breaking news of national significance from new york state. democratic congressman joe crowley is on the verge of being turfed out tonight. congressman crowley has been in office for 19 years. he is the fourth ranking democrat in the house of representatives. he had an eye on becoming speaker of the house if things had worked out that way. but tonight he appears to be losing in a democratic primary to a challenger from the left, trailing alexandria ocasio-cortez. a former bernie sanders campaign organizer. steve kornacki has been watching this very tightly. he is here now. >> we saw these numbers start coming in. we couldn't believe it. well checked. we reloaded. this is a seismic political upset. i can tell you, the associated press has called this race for alexandria ocasio-cortez. to put this in perspective, joe crowley has been there since 1998. he was thought to be the next
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democratic leader in waiting, potentially a speaker of the house here. he runs the queens county democratic party in the old sense of the word. this is a party boss in a democratic primary being challenged by a 28-year-old member of the democratic socialists of america. she has now defeated joe crowley in this primary. you want to find a parallel for this in modern times, this takes us right back four years ago on the republican side when eric canter went down out of nowhere in that primary in virginia. that is the scale of what we are seeing here. a lot will be written, a lot will be said about what this primary result means for the future of the democratic party. let me put it this way. this district, what you're talking about here, you can barely see it on your screen. it's queens. it's a little bit of the bronx. ancestrally, think of the show "all in the family." archie bunker, this was his district. geraldine ferraro, she represented it. joe crowley's mentor, a man
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named tom maten took the seat in 1984. when he decided to retire, he short circuited the process. that's how crowley got the seat. he didn't have a an open primary. his or sort of wired the process to get him the nomination. this is 20 years ago. he held the seat ever since, became the party boss. and now this has happened on the democratic side. a lot of people look at this and say, you're seeing the future ve maybe the past in the democratic primary and democratic party a bit. this is a shocking result. and there are other surprises brewing. i want to quickly show you this has not been called, but you have a second democratic incumbent, yvette clarke. she is barely hanging on against a challenger, adbut the race hasn't been called. we thought this would be the biggest story all day. it turned out to be a snoozer. dan donovan easily has held off michael grimm, the ex-congressman trying to get his
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seat back. donovan has won. donovan hangs on. he will face a democratic challenger. but again, rachel, i mean, i'm finding, i probably said it enough here. but i'm trying to find the right words to put in perspective. this is one of the all-time modern primary night shocks that we've seen. seems to come out of nowhere. there is huge implications to this. >> steve kcki, i have one question task you about this. km what i see is, small numbers altogether there. 12,000-something, 9,000-something, that's not very many people turning out to vote. is that part of the story? >> i think it probably is. you're going to look at the strength of organizing here. why is it so low in new york. look at the time of the year, the calendar. also look at this. new york has two separate primary dates. so lot of people have been paying attention to the gubernatorial race, andrew cuomo challenged by cynthia nixon. that's not tonight. that's later on. this is just the congressional primary so you got a ballot today in a district like this, this is probably the only thing you saw on your ballot.
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you probably saw just this race, just these two names. new york also has closed primaries. you got to be a member, you have to be registered with the party to vote. the calendar, the fact that they t the contests, the fact that it's a closed primary. you end up with turnout like this, potentially a future speaker no more because of this. >> and an enthusiasm for this out of nowhere challenger, alexandria ocasio-cortez beating joe crowley. just remarkable. steve kornacki, thank you. we'll be back. stay with us. plus vitamin d for bone health support. your one a day is showing. look for new one a day women's with nate's medley. well, esurance makes it simple and affordable. in fact, drivers who switched from geico to esurance saved an average of $412. that's auto and home insurance for the modern world. esurance. an allstate company. click or call. paying too much fonce that isn't the right fit?
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special counsel robert mueller won a round today in federal court in virginia. paul manafort, the trump campaign chairman, had tried to get charges against him dropped in virginia, but the federal judge in that case today said nope. the judge said the investigation of manafort falls squarely within the special counsel's legal purv and so mueller and his prosecutors won this round. but here is something to stick a pin in. even though mueller won this round from the judge, manafort isn't getting the charges dropped, this ruling also has some profoundly hostile language against robert mueller and the special counsel's office. the judge says, quote, given the investigation's focus on president trump's campaign, even a blind person can see that the true target of the special counsel's investigation is president trump, not the defendant, and that defendant's prosecution is part of that larger plan. specifically, the charges against defendant are intended to induce defendant to cooperate with the special counsel by providing evidence against the president or other members of the campaign. although these kinds of high pressure prosecutorial tactics
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are neither uncoor illegal, they are distasteful. the judge says in another footnote, the wisdom of allowing all links between individuals associated with president trump's campaign and the russian government to be subject to i don't know if that's going to be a problem for the mueller prosecution going forward, but i am newly committed to reading all of the footnotes in all of